Work hasn’t been the same this week for chef Jamison Ausburn, whose specialized knives were stolen from his parked car Monday. Everyone knows the sentimental and professional value knives have for chefs, but since Ausburn is an amputee, his knives were modified so he could function like everyone else.
“They’re a chef’s number one tool,” said Ausburn. “It would be like a carpenter without his hammer.”
Ausburn, a Seattle resident, had returned home from his job Sunday at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and left his car overnight in a parking garage. The next morning when Ausburn attempted to head to work, he was forced to call police because his car had been stolen.
Four days later, his maroon Toyota Camry turned up in a different part of the city. But the knives, worth thousands of dollars, were gone.
“It’s a rearrangement of your routine and you’re without something you’re used to having,” said Ausburn.
The knives were a gift from his grandparents. They wanted to help their grandson pursue a new career, after an accident fifteen years ago left him without a right arm. He named the knives after his grandparents.
But the 40-year-old Ausburn hasn’t let his disability slow him down. Being the hard worker he is, Ausburn only missed one day this week and has been using a replacement knife.
“I’m kind of out of my element,” said Ausburn. “It’s been a rearrangement of my routine.”
Ausburn says there’s plenty for him to do at the café, but he plans to get new specialized knives this weekend. A pricey purchase that will certainly set him back.
“I didn’t let it stop me when I lost my hand,” said Ausburn. “My parents didn’t raise me with those values.”